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BA >14 days cancellation & re-routing

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  • SteveR

    Will someone please tell BA that the 14 days or less only applies to compo and does not get them out of complying with Article 8

    Twice been rejected for a refund of expenses & they keep saying “you were given more than 14 days notice” Turkey – Doha – Gatwick not really in the spirit of things. I’m sure we would have enjoyed 7 hours there!!

    The flight we paid for left 10 minutes after their canceled flight with no detours

    Richie

    They are trying it on and they know it.
    It’s the oldest get lost fobb off in the book.
    Unreasonable conduct by BA.

    WickedWolfie explained this one on m0n3ys4v1ngexp3rt yonks ago.

    JDB

    @SteveR they are seemingly doing this systematically now. Just wrote about it on GCM thread. I have seen it being tried on six people, me being one of them with the same line used three times, the last also saying they won’t communicate further on the subject so no need to bother with LBA and now issued as a canary claim at MCOL to elicit their legal argument to see what to do with the others. They have asked for 14 extra days to think about it!

    StillintheSun

    @JDB
    Very happy to see you have joined the litigation bandwagon and issued a claim. I warn you it is quite infectious. We’ll make a radical of you yet…

    Lady London

    Have you noticed that it’s just after any change that means BA will have less revenue coming in, that we get a wave of reports of BA tightening up and routinely issuing the same inaccurate refusal excuse to a cluster of posters here? indicating BA staff have had new instructions to do it to everyone.

    This latest round of systematic nonsense refusals by BA as in “we’re keeping your money for longer and the last thing we’ll do is pay some other airline to reroute you”, completely refusing to honour passenger rights, seems to have been kicked off by the reduction in the winter schedule.

    And before, it was before Heathrow came to the rescue by supposedly “restricting” passenger numbers and by implication, the number of flights using Heathrow…: A fresh round of reports of illegal refusals to reroute occurred, after BA’s outsourced baggage handlers and other outsourced staff based at Heathrow (eg ground handlers) couldn’t deliver. We got a spate of reports of BA also trying to force people whom BA had seriously inconvenienced with operations failures and cancellations, into refunds rather than offering them the right to be rerouted onto another airline at BA’s expense.

    As examples see the history on BA cancelling Bangkok, the upcoming cancellations to Japan and the various routes where BA told people “We don’t have a deal in place with Qatar to reroute you on your dates after we cancelled you. So we’re not rerouting you and we can only offer you a refund”. A deal is not needed, BA is just trying to reduce their costs even lower than the already low interline rates they would pay to reroute their cancelled passengers onto another airline. BA is legally liable for full retail cost of a reroute if that’s what it takes.

    The fact that no UK regulator is stepping up and putting a stop to these illegal, anti-consumer systematic responses by the foreign airline known as BA, makes one lose faith in the UK.

    Jon

    @LadyLondon I wonder whether we might see something happen soon-ish. The CMA is aware and watching, and working with the CAA. I had a fairly encouraging response from them after my recent shenanigans with Virgin (see the “Virgin rebooking master thread”). I suppose it might take a few years, but at least the airlines are in their sights. FWIW they appear to be open to passengers sending in their accounts of airline misbehaviour to add to the evidence pile… Don’t all rush at once 😉

    Lady London

    Good news @Jon. If the CMA has jurisdiction and if “working with tbe CAA” means someone is actually compelling the CAA to get off their f**ny and *enforce* the law timely, then this would be helpful.

    Jon

    Indeed. I don’t know exactly what the working relationship is, or how much influence the CMA has over the CAA, but what they said to me was:

    “…the CAA, as the aviation sector regulator, is leading on engagement with airlines on flight cancellations and related matters. The CMA is working closely with them to support efforts to ensure airlines comply both with sector specific and general consumer law obligations and therefore your correspondence provides useful insight.”

    Read into that whatever you will! 😉

    ChrisC

    @JDB
    Very happy to see you have joined the litigation bandwagon and issued a claim. I warn you it is quite infectious. We’ll make a radical of you yet…

    I don’t think @jdb has ever said they weren’t in favour of using MCOL.

    Like I do they simply believe in using it appropriately and not for every piddling issue that comes along and without giving the airline sufficient time to try and resolve the issue.

    And of course MCOL isn’t always the slam dunk some people would have us believe.

    StillintheSun

    @ChrisC
    The law is clear; the airline owes a customer important duties even if the cancellation is made beyond 14 days (must offer passenger a choice of re-route earliest opportunity, re-route at passenger’s convenience or refund). BA has chosen to systematically disregard their duties and put out disingenuous press releases.

    On the micro level individual cases may not be worth very much (we all have different concepts as to piddling) but across them all taken together BA are refusing to pay out a significant global amount unjustifiably. They do this because not enough people enforce their rights.

    If a greater number of people bought good claims for piddling amounts then the costs/benefit analysis changes for BA (the administrative cost / PR cost / Regulator interest) and maybe they start to behave themselves and pay off the passengers with good but low value claims.

    Of course some people will lose, that’s litigation. Of course no one should resort to litigation without giving the other side the chance to respond. That is a mandatory requirement of the CPR. And I have never suggested differently.

    But if the essence of radicalism is the belief that sufficient individuals working in concert can bring about change then a little radicalism against BA is warranted here.

    PeteM

    A slightly different, rather facetious, angle – I suppose we should, to an extent, be grateful that not everyone who’s entitled to compensation claims it / gets it, because I imagine that would have a fundamental effect on prices for all of us, especially this year.

    See, for example, how much AF/KLM have been paying out: https://www.businessinsider.com/europes-worst-airline-for-flight-delays-paid-millions-in-compensation-2022-8

    It’s only happened to me once that BA have paid this type of claim without trying to push me away. But I have succeeded every time via CEDR, they always fold before it actually gets to adjudication.

    memesweeper

    But if the essence of radicalism is the belief that sufficient individuals working in concert can bring about change


    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

    Margaret Mead

    memesweeper

    A slightly different, rather facetious, angle – I suppose we should, to an extent, be grateful that not everyone who’s entitled to compensation claims it / gets it, because I imagine that would have a fundamental effect on prices for all of us, especially this year.

    BA have speculatively sold flights which in all likelihood they knew would never fly. Enforcement of consumer rights would stop them in this dishonest practice.

    Richie

    A slightly different, rather facetious, angle – I suppose we should, to an extent, be grateful that not everyone who’s entitled to compensation claims it / gets it, because I imagine that would have a fundamental effect on prices for all of us, especially this year.

    See, for example, how much AF/KLM have been paying out: https://www.businessinsider.com/europes-worst-airline-for-flight-delays-paid-millions-in-compensation-2022-8

    It’s only happened to me once that BA have paid this type of claim without trying to push me away. But I have succeeded every time via CEDR, they always fold before it actually gets to adjudication.

    Air fares have nothing to with costs. They are all about markets and marketing, price and demand.
    You don’t get cheaper airfares because your flight is operated by a more fuel efficient B787 rather than a B772 guzzler.
    Denying claims is about saving money to increase profits.

    Lady London

    Agreed Richie. It’s not just failing to provide the options legally laid down that they must provide to passengers cancelled or irropped, and not just denying claims.

    Apart from those two tactics BA systematically deploys, there is a third one. The more obstacles BA can put up, whether ignoring contact forms and emails, keeping themselves relatively hard to contact by phone, failing to entertain requests for reroutes and lying to force refunds, refusing to deal with reroutes when requested bexause they “don’t have a deal in place [with a sister OneWorld airline with 25% same ownership] all this is delay, delay, delay. To reduce the amount of passegers that make it througb the obstacle course, to claim. And meanwhile BA is making money on the money they still retain from the customer and making money on expenses and compensation not paid out for tbe vanishingly few claims that do get through.

    ChrisC

    @ChrisC
    The law is clear; the airline owes a customer important duties even if the cancellation is made beyond 14 days (must offer passenger a choice of re-route earliest opportunity, re-route at passenger’s convenience or refund). BA has chosen to systematically disregard their duties and put out disingenuous press releases.

    Is the law that clear though?

    I’ve read the reports on both here and flyer talk and elsewhere of people who were assured they had a slam dunk case at MCOL coming back to say they had lost despite their case being the same as another that won.

    By piddling I meant cases like I’ve seen such as going to MCOL because TPs hadn’t been posted or they didn’t get a meal in CE or their request for a refund wasn’t paid within days of asking for it. But I think you knew that’s what I meant.

    And you’ll see from my numerous posts that where people do appear to have a good case that I do provide advice on how to send a letter before action etc.

    PeteM

    Air fares have nothing to with costs. They are all about markets and marketing, price and demand.
    You don’t get cheaper airfares because your flight is operated by a more fuel efficient B787 rather than a B772 guzzler.
    Denying claims is about saving money to increase profits.

    This is all true, but I can assure you that if everyone who’s entitled to compensation / some sort of remedy gets it, it will be in the hundreds of millions of pounds per BA/EZ/FR and it will absolutely push prices up.

    ChrisC

    EZ said a few years ago it added £2 or €2 to the fare to cover it’s EU261 liabilities.

    But in the scheme of things the number of flights that actually require any sort of payment – whether compo or duty of care – is in the 2% of all flights range.

    One of the things behind the regulation was to encourage airlines not to cancel flights unless there was an absolute need to because the cost would outweigh any savings so the costs are a part of doing business.

    But that was based on the original wording of the regulation. It’s been the courts that have increased the costs by saying compo is due for delays (original regulation only stated duty of care) and restricting the ‘extraordinary circumstances’ exemptions far more than legislatoes wanted. Problem is getting the legislators to approve the proposed rewrite of regulation to bring it back to the original intent.

    StillintheSun

    @ChrisC
    I’d venture you know duck about legislative intent.

    Lady London

    “By piddling I meant cases like I’ve seen such as going to MCOL because TPs hadn’t been posted or they didn’t get a meal in CE or their request for a refund wasn’t paid within days of asking for it. But I think you knew that’s what I meant”


    @ChrisC
    I am shocked. Are you saying people are MCOLing for those things? Like you I would not support this.

    Speaking of days within which airlines arw supposed to refund, in fact EU261 says passenger should be refunded I think, within 7 days.

    I think every passenger we’ve come across has been reasonable in Covid and given airlines lots more time than this to pay. In fact reports about many other airlines have been worae than BA, including European ones, with some airlines still not having made refunds for cancelled flights. Howevet in BA’s case we have still had standard delays of months and months and the person has needed to chase and chase and sometimes has to resubmit the claim.

    Richie

    Air fares have nothing to with costs. They are all about markets and marketing, price and demand.
    You don’t get cheaper airfares because your flight is operated by a more fuel efficient B787 rather than a B772 guzzler.
    Denying claims is about saving money to increase profits.

    This is all true, but I can assure you that if everyone who’s entitled to compensation / some sort of remedy gets it, it will be in the hundreds of millions of pounds per BA/EZ/FR and it will absolutely push prices up.

    You’re ignoring that most airlines use a fluid pricing model with no caps on fares. Look at fares to Ibiza and Mykonos for the bank holiday weekend, also low season BA fares from Gatwick to Malaga. There’s no correlation at all between actual cost and air fares.
    If teeth were inserted into the CAA to regulate UK261 all airlines would do is not put as many flights on sale earlier than necessary, they would just de-risk their exposure. The revenues would still roll in.

    JDB

    “By piddling I meant cases like I’ve seen such as going to MCOL because TPs hadn’t been posted or they didn’t get a meal in CE or their request for a refund wasn’t paid within days of asking for it. But I think you knew that’s what I meant”



    @ChrisC
    I am shocked. Are you saying people are MCOLing for those things? Like you I would not support this.

    Speaking of days within which airlines arw supposed to refund, in fact EU261 says passenger should be refunded I think, within 7 days.

    I think every passenger we’ve come across has been reasonable in Covid and given airlines lots more time than this to pay. In fact reports about many other airlines have been worae than BA, including European ones, with some airlines still not having made refunds for cancelled flights. Howevet in BA’s case we have still had standard delays of months and months and the person has needed to chase and chase and sometimes has to resubmit the claim.

    @Lady London – actually I don’t think that is correct and @Chris C is saying something similar. A great many cases people report here are wholly unreasonable which is why I, and others, think the cookie cutter advice to MCOL everything is quite wrong. I do my best when I read people’s issues a) to consider whether a case is good, middling or bad and b) to try and gauge from the way the person articulates their case as to whether CEDR or MCOL might be the better approach for them or if they have a case at all. MCOL is supposed to be a simple process but it nevertheless requires particular skills to be sufficiently confident of success to risk the money.

    There have been some ‘rerouting’ cases that are plainly greedy, over stretching “at the passenger’s convenience” and thus bound to lose and other grievances that simply don’t ring true or obviously omit vital facts that render them null and some claims that are essentially customer service issues that have no real legal cause of action. If people offer advice at all, I think it needs to be suitably individualised/discriminated and calibrated as every case is different. There is far too much ill considered ‘send LBA then MCOL’.

    I am still intrigued by the number of cases that people say they have taken to MCOL or CEDR vs reported outcomes – it runs at about 5 to 1. Some people never actually make the claim but quite a number are lost and there is as much to be learned from the lost cases as winning ones. I’m also not entirely confident of the veracity of some reports…

    SteveR

    We are now being forced down the MCOL route No response to the letter i wrote to legal, but they still have a week to go

    CS just kept spouting the we gave you 14 days notice & have now invited me to take them to them CEDR.

    Nope as per another post I made. We wouldn’t touch CEDR with a bargepole after reading the Trust Pilot reviews.

    A few people commented they got so many bad reviews because people lost and no one gave them good comments when they won

    If you follow that logic all you would ever see on TripAdvisor is one-star ratings

    JDB

    @SteveR there were a surprising number of positive posts re CEDR after your TrustPilot comments!

    However, if you are absolutely satisfied that you have a solid case and can set it out succinctly and clearly, go for it and you will win at either CEDR or MCOL. Your claim needs to be only for those expenses specifically provided for in Article 9 (ie not extra parking, kennels etc) and ones that “were necessary, appropriate and reasonable to make up for the shortcomings of the air carrier in the provision of care to that passenger.

    You probably won’t get paid any interest, but you should ask for it anyway and set it from 14 days after you made the initial claim.

    Abdul

    One of the problems is how there is really nothing substantive to rely on in law for a number of elements of Article 8.

    I’ve read the CAA guidance helpfully posted by someone (https://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/Re-routing%20Guidance%20(CAP2155).pdf) and its unfortunately bereft in the area that matters to me “Re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to your final destination at a later date at your convenience, subject to availability of seats.” (Section 1)

    How far can we book? As its silent in law, one would presume the liability you have against the carrier is based on the statute of limitations so 6 years in England and Wales, 5 in Scotland. Therefore if you present to the carrier with a ticket 6 years old you cannot expect to be rebooked FOC, and who would? The vast majority of people don’t sit on tickets costing perhaps thousands therefore providing the carrier an interest free loan.

    If the carrier suspends the route, the guidance makes it clear the CAA/CMA expects carriers to rebook to other airlines and cost reasons, keeping it in alliance, are all irrelevant, especially as the LCC’s don’t have alliances.

    The issue of ticket validity? I don’t think the law cares about it, because these days, don’t LCC fly more pax than any other in Europe? They don’t even issue tickets. It’s a leftover relic.

    Someone said there’s IATA Regulation stating that in irregularity (irrops or schedule change) ticket validity is waived. I can’t find it. Certainly in Amadeus, there is nothing to stop a ticket several years old being rebooked, as long as it can be retrieved. There’s no computer says no, grey box or error message.

    Can we agree that carriers which limit (in-validity) rebooking to just a few days, weeks or a month is definitely illegal? Are there some cases to refer to, some guidance? Anything?

    BA’s current policy is rebooking +/-14 days. Is this illegal?

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